The Supreme Court today concluded its proceedings to determine the legality of the proposed Finance Bill.

Accordingly, all parties who filed the Special Determination petitions asked to submit their written submissions before August 2.

Subsequently, the determination of the Court on the proposed Bill will be communicated to the President and the Speaker.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General presented to the court a list of amendments to be moved at the committee stage of Parliament.

Senior State Counsel Nirmalan Wigneswaranappearing for the Attorney General informed the court that certain amendments will be brought to clauses 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 14 and 17 of the bill at the committee stage.

In his submissions, Wigneswaran stated that granting tax amnesty would intend to bring people into the tax net and he reiterated that the bill does not help at all for money laundering.

Eight petitions have been filed against the Finance Bill which was placed on the order paper of Parliament on July 29. They are; Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara, SJB Parliamentarian Eran Wickremaratne, JVP former Parliamentarian Sunil Hadunneththi, former Deputy Secretary of the Ceylon Bank Employees Union (CBEU)  EkeshwaraKottegoda Vithana, former UNP Parliamentarian Saman Rathnapriya, NaganandaKodituwakku and Centre for Policy Alternative.

The petitioners are seeking a declaration that the Bill in whole or in part requires the approval by people at a Referendum and requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

The Petitioners alleged that the purpose of the said Bill is to extend immunity and immunity to the persons who have defrauded different kinds of taxes due under the revenue laws.

President’s Counsel M.A. Sumanthiran, SrinathPerera PC, Senior Counsel Viran Corea, Counsel Dharshana Weraduwage, Suren Fernando, Eraj de Silva and ShanthaJayawardena appeared for the petitioners.


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